Sunderland FC Shildon scholars are looking to build on their momentum having secured a third consecutive win against Crystal Palace Foundation A on Wednesday.

The academy stars produced a fine second half display to run out comprehensive 5-1 winners to move up to fourth in the National Football Youth League and maintain their recent good form. Sunderland badge

“That’s been a big thing for us putting a little run together getting a bit momentum,” said coach Alan Young.

Shildon’s scholars are a separate side to the Sunderland FC team which top the table, though both play under the Foundation of Light’s arm.

An overnight snowfall meant that the game had to be relocated to an artificial pitch – something that Young admitted was a bit of a disruption.

“It wasn’t ideal in terms of the lads’ preparation. We turned up to the pitch early in the morning and it was covered in snow so we had to make arrangements to go and play on an artificial pitch.”

Fortunately the young Black Cats dealt with the inconvenience as goals from Kieron Parnaby, Dane Eltringham, Cieron Jackson, Lewis King and Jack Clow sealed an impressive win over a physical Crystal Palace side.

“It was a challenge, we had to work to get the result,” said Young.

“We got off to a great start, we got a penalty within the first five minutes but then Crystal Palace started coming into the game and we had to absorb the pressure.”

The sides went in level at the break after Hubert Witkowski equalised for Crystal Palace, with Young admitting that the visitors shaded proceedings towards the end of the half.

“We had a word with the lads at half time and told them to relax – do what we know we can do.”

The team talk appeared to work as the home side ran out comfortable winners and now find themselves just six points behind leaders Sunderland FC in the league table.

The scholars head south to take on Barnet in the League Cup next week and Young insists his team will be up for the challenge.

“We’re going into next week full of confidence – looking forward to it but at the same time expecting a big challenge.”